In Regards to Social Media… Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Ask questions. Don't stop after the first question. Don't assume that statistics are true.

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[ Social Media]

Bullshit… Definition … Declarations of fact without knowledge, experience or proof.

This was a statement from Jason Falls, the CEO of Social Media Explorer, during his keynote session, This Is All Such BS: How to Tell and What to Do When You Are Being Had in Blogging, Social Media and Beyond, while at Blogworld Expo in L.A.

According to Falls, he has a philosophy in calling bullshit, as he says “I like to criticize ideas, not people. I like to keep that in mind in calling bullshit on people.” He believes so strongly in this philosophy that he wrote a book about it called, No Bullshit Social Media.

It seems fitting that Falls works online, which he calls the single largest depository of bullshit. He goes on to say that people need to do their due diligence regarding the information they read. According to Falls, it starts with people like him, and other social media gurus. One thing you can do is ask better questions. You can’t just hit the easy button and just except what people are telling us is true.

According to Falls:

You probably said we need to know how to use it strategically, drive business and measure success. The social media evangelist I refer to as social media hippies and tree huggers. They used to say you can’t sell using social medial. They made lots of rules and put you in a box. They were social media purists. They say things like don’t post a marketing message on your personal Facebook profile. That is bullshit!

This is where a couple social media evangelist will fall out of their chairs. Not every business needs social media! My friend owns a lawn care company with three or four crews. He asked what should I do with social media? I asked how do you currently get your customers. He said from referrals. I said here is your social media strategy. Put your computer down and go to a neighborhood that you aren’t in and cut someone’s grass for free. Game over!

You’ve probably also heard other people say stuff like, you can’t sell things from social media. This is also Bullshit. Dell sold 6.5 million dollars worth of stuff from a single Twitter account, according to Falls.

If you hear people say you shouldn’t be doing something, ask yourself the following questions:

Where did the data come from?
Where has it been tested?
What are the variables?
How does it apply to my ….?

Do your homework. Ask questions. Don’t stop after the first question. Don’t assume that statistics are true.

Falls further details his thoughts on the myths about social media in the below interview with WebProNews reporter Abby Johnson:

For 5 years, WebProNews has partnered with BlogWorld and New Media Expo, the world’s first and largest new media conference, in an effort to broadcast how new media can grow your business, brand, and audience. Stay tuned to WebProNews for much more exclusive coverage.

In Regards to Social Media… Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
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  • http://netmediathailand.com Alan Johnston

    I have a few potenntial clients who are umming and ahhhing over social media. First off for the consultative sale, in other words you have to see them at least 5 times, and get to know them well. You can use Social Media to see the first appointment. If a client Googles your service and they see your fantastically smooth and lush lawns on your page it’s only gonna help!

    • http://www.bnoticed.com Gregg

      I completely agree… You have to look at your business model and decide then how to use social media. Any business can market on their page… It’s just how they do it that will make a difference. It’s difficult to compare Dell to a lawn mowing service company (no matter the size of the lawn company). That is comparing apples to oranges. Some businesses will fair well with paid advertising on FB, while others may not. I think the main stream companies such as Dell will do great and make money. If you are someone who’s company primarily sells to businesses and very little if at all to people for personal use, then simply having a page may work out better showing off what you can do. Each business is unique and needs to continuously update their marketing plan and include social media in one way or another.

  • Michael Dougherty

    I like to think in terms of a culture of selling. Every business is different in terms of “how sales are made”. This has little to do with scale, it has to do with fit. Seems like we struggle with finding the handles for critical thought. Questions matter a lot. I ask a client to describe the selling process, the stages, the “drill”, how they qualify, how they close. Are they high tech, high touch, or just down the street and around the block (referral driven). How do they best explain or demonstrate their competitive distinction, do they know what that means?

    I think the medium in question has to do with the mediums fit to the message. Assertions that social media fits this, or not, have to be grounded in deeper questions about the culture of selling for the product, only then do we get some clarity about how selling a particular product fits with an online venue, be it social, web, or targeted newslettering. It is a complex discussion, with an outcome that should be tested and refined continuously.

    My problem has been that competitors sell “magic bullet” bullshit. This removes everyone from the hard work of designing a marketing strategy and testing the results.

    The latest BS I have run up against is the assertion “everyone should use QR codes”, and just to deepen the bullshit, they said ORs would be more important than Facebook. Really? Does this make any sense at all?

    Methods derive their usefulness when applied in a selling process. I totally agree it all starts with effective questioning. Great questions are the only way to figure out what to do. They drive design, prevent mindless subscription to the latest magic bullet, and create the basis for the evaluation of effectiveness.

  • http://www.makemoneyteam.com Raymond

    For years I have felt exactly the same way about the “anti business purists” that I hear bitching because somebody has ads on their blog. If they like to leave money laying on the table that’s fine but they should be able to understand why others are picking the money up. They are the same people who throw a fit when some rock band sells millions of records with a simple catchy tune, saying the band “sold out”. When really all the band did was write a song that everyone likes and wants to buy. When asked about this James Hatfield of the band Metallica had this to say: “Did we sell out? Yeah we sell out every weekend!”.

  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    Stats may not necessarily be untrue, but can be misleading. When you hear Google say that the new algorithm they are going to push out (or probably already have) dubbed “Google Fresh” by many SEO’s, Google says it will affect about 35% of searches, not that it will affect 35% of all keywords. So everybody is expecting their pages to fall in rankings again, and so they might be surprised that nothing could happen to their rankings at all.

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    These are some good points. I have never had much luck with social selling so far and your lawn mowing example hits the nail on the head. Also, with small business you have to allocate your time wisely so should you spend time on social or on promoting traffic to your website?

  • http://michaelmccoymarketing.com Michael McCoy

    I’m new to this whole business of social media marketing I looking to strategically drive business to my site using social media and other marketing methods. I believe marketing or selling via social media is here to stay and we need to learn to monetize it or get left in the dust.

  • marvin nubwaxer

    just except what people are telling us is true. should be “accept”. non-ative english speaker or mom did not proofread.
    people need to do their dudiligence–should be due diligence, dude.

  • http://smmseo.com/ Phanna K

    This was probably one of the better seminars at the expo.

  • http://www.solidamerica.com gino

    Who wants to spend the rest of their personal lives or a million dollars paying writers to post comments and small messages in twitter and Facebook just to get some traffic. This manipulation of the web traffic got to stop, lets go back the the regular non discriminatory web site results and keywords, as it should be from beginning with. Facebook complains when people post a small message on other people’s and companies pages, twitter not enough space and the other media is just what you were saying with the know how to use it strategically and a single largest depository of bullshit.

  • http://shortcircuitmedia.com Aidan

    As a marketer it’s my job to provide all the options. But it’s also my job to recommend what’s most likely to work.

    Clients are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t use my own Facebook account for business. I use it to share pictures of my kids with friends and family.

    I wrote a blog posting on the subject a while back Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    The gist is that it’s so easy to tie everything together and feed Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook – that folks think they have to in order to be successful.

    When what they really should be doing is thinking about who is going to see these posts. Does my mom care if I “Like” your gardening company? Maybe. Does she care if I like a Leadership Speaker? Probably not.

    So when I talk to my clients – who are mostly speakers – I always tell them that Linkedin is a much more valuable share than Facebook because it is the business audience they need to be in front of.

    There is no one-size solution. It all depends on the business. Some may need everything. Some may need just a few. The trick is to be honest and do your best not waste a lot of your client’s money.

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